United Way for Southeastern Michigan president heads to Capitol Hill to advocate for struggling families

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

United Way for Southeastern Michigan President and CEO Dr. Darienne Driver to join nearly 80 new United Way executives on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as part of the New Presidents Forum. The freshmen executives intend to amplify and call attention to the EITC via a digital advocacy call-to-action effort in support of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), considered the most effective anti-poverty tool in the nation. Dr. Driver and her fellow executives will unite in D.C. on behalf of working families for EITC Advocacy Day on Thursday, January 10, 2019.

“This effort speaks to the core of our service within communities toward uplifting people out of poverty and improving lives in measurable and lasting ways,” says Dr. Driver. “The EITC is an important viable tool with immediate impact on the lives of working families, helping them keep more of what they earn to pay for life’s necessities such as groceries, child care and more. I look forward to joining my fellow United Way executives in this show of unity around this important issue.”

Data from the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report created by the Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) and released last year, shows that among Michigan’s 3.86 million households 15 percent earn below the federal poverty level and another 25 percent are ALICE, down slightly from 2010 but still above the 2007 level. In recent years, Michigan’s economy saw only incremental growth making it difficult for many households to improve their financial status. Between 2012 and 2015, the economy showed signs of improvement, yet 40 percent of households in Michigan struggled financially, as the cost of living continued to exceed what most wages paid. MAUW is planning to release its latest ALICE report in March.

United Way for Southeastern Michigan seeks the public’s support in joining this effort by contacting their members of congress at http://cqrcengage.com/unitedway/lookup. They may also help amplify the benefits of the EITC via their Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags: #ExpandEITC #UWAdvocate #UWNewCEOs.

Driver’s visit on Thursday will mark the second time in three years a United Way CEO has traveled to D.C. to advocate on behalf of those in underserved communities in southeast Michigan. In 2016, former United Way President Dr. Herman Gray was invited to a White House Forum on the Social Innovation Fund to give opening remarks.

For more information about United Way for Southeastern Michigan and to learn how you may give, advocate or volunteer, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.

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About United Way for Southeastern Michigan 
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through volunteerism, advocacy and its annual campaign. United Way is a leader in convening partners to achieve positive outcomes around Health, Education, and Economic Prosperity. For more